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Board Fav Pierce on Maddow Show

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Boom_70, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    While channel surfing the other night came across an interesting interview with board fav Charles Pierce and Rachel Maddow.

    Pierce came across as a tad elitist. From reading a lot of his work he always has struck me as more of a "man of the people" type of guy.

    It does appear that Piece / Maddow are members of each others fan clubs.

  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

  3. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Boom, can you explain to me what was elitist in that clip
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    JR - Just a general feeling. Perhaps it was the title of his book "Idiot America" that subconciously made me draw that conclusion.
  5. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    I haven't read the book....and don't plan to, but can I assume he lumps Keith Olberman into the extreme folks that have a voice and don't face any repercussions.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Here's the nut of Pierce's "Idiot America."

    "The rise of Idiot America is essentially a war on expertise. It's not so much antimodernism or the distrust of intellectual elites that Richard Hofstadter deftly teased out of the national DNA forty years ago. Both of those things are part of it. However, the rise of Idiot America today represents -- for profit mainly, but also, and more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of power -- the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they're talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a preacher, or a scientist, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.

    In the place of expertise, we have elevated the Gut, and the Gut is a moron, as anyone who has ever tossed a golf club, punched a wall, or kicked an errant lawn mower knows. We occasionally dress up the Gut by calling it "common sense." The president's former advisor on medical ethics regularly refers to the "yuck factor." The Gut is common. It is democratic. It is the roiling repository of dark and ancient fears. Worst of all, the Gut is faith-based."
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Malcolm Gladwell ( Blink) would disagree.
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I'm a big Pierce fan, always have been....I have the book, hoping to get to it soon.

    I like the title, but you gotta admit, anyone writing about 'Idiot America' does automatically convey some smugness. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

    And btw, because we like to follow these things, the book was #25 at Amazon last week.
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, I'm actually interviewing Richard Hofstadter later this week. Probably the first and last time Mr. Pierce's material and mine will overlap, however remotely.
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Does Boom nudge you multiple times per hour asking you where it ranks in comparision to the A-Rod book?
  11. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Finished the book in two days. Fantastic. And the Idiot America isn't as harsh as it sounds. Well, sort of. He loves that the country is home to those who believe people rode dinosaurs, he loves loons, conspiracy theory believers and other quacks. But those people - cranks, to use his word - used to have their place in the country. He writes, "This is still the best country ever in which to peddle complete public lunacy. In fact, it's the only contry to enshrine that right in its founding documents. The American crank is one of the great by-products of the American experiment." His problem is when their ideas are accepted "untested and unchallenged" into the mainstream just because they're a great product.

    "The best thing about American cranks used to be that, if they couldn't have the effect they desired, they would stand apart from a country that, by their peculiar lights, had gone completely mad. Not today. Today, they all have book deals, TV shows, and cases pending in federal court."

    There's a lot of interesting thinking and plenty of room for debate in the book. But as always with Pierce, there's also nearly a laugh out loud line on every page. One of my favorites is this one:

    "Hannity occasionally seems to make an earnest attempt at avuncularity. He looks like the bouncer at an Irish bar in Southampton, the big lug in the golf shirt who throws you out for singing The Rising of the Moon atop the bar but, as he does so, presses a couple of drink tickets into your hand with a wink and tells you to come back next week."
  12. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Yes re nudging, not so much re arod.
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